I find that when it comes to the technology companies that I use, I am seldom neutral. Instead I gravitate to extremes. If I like a company or their products, my admiration tends to reach the stratosphere. However, if I dislike a company or their products, my disdain reaches deep down.
What may surprise regular readers is that Microsoft is one of the companies that I hold in high esteem. True, I am highly critical of Internet Explorer and cautious about Windows Vista, but those are anomalies. Overall I’m a big fan of Microsoft. I really like Windows XP, as well as most prior versions. I heavily rely upon Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, Access — I seldom have a need for PowerPoint). Although it is much maligned and now discontinued, Microsoft FrontPage has been my mainstay for web design.
I’m also an advocate of Dell, so much so that I no longer shop for competing prices. I have also been buying Dell printers — ever since HP refused to sell a replacement part for a printer barely out of warranty. Now HP is on my bad list.
I can’t image surfing the web without Firefox and when I’m there, Google is an essential tool for search. Though I’m not a fan of web-based email — too slow and cumbersome — Gmail has some features and functionality that are growing on me.
Apple has long been a preferred vendor. I bought my first Mac in 1987 and had an Apple IIe prior to that. Even though I’m now entrenched in the PC world, I still follow Apple and cherish my iPod.
I use Carbonite for off-site file backup (and occasional retrieval); QuickBooks is my choice for accounting software. Other invaluable software includes Adobe Acrobat (to make and manipulate PDF files), CustomMailer (to send bulk mail — of which I am most cautious about doing), and Xenu Link Sleuth (to check links on my websites). For security I like AVG for anti-virus and AdAware for anti-spyware.